The latest CPUs from Intel and AMD won't be supported on Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Back in January Microsoft wrote up a controversial edict that tried to shorten Skylake's lifecycle on legacy Windows OS and lock newer CPU hardware--including Kaby Lake and Zen--exclusively to Windows 10. After tons of pressure from the PC crowd, Redmond relented on Skylake...but what about Kaby Lake and Zen? Both processors are on the horizon, and PC enthusiasts need to know if their OS will be compatible.
Microsoft has now confirmed to PC World that its decision concerning Kaby Lake and Zen is final: Windows 10 only.
"As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support," a Microsoft spokeswoman told PC World, reiterating the initial proclamation. "This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon."
For comparison, here's the original post:
"Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon. For example, Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming "Kaby Lake" silicon and AMD's upcoming "Bristol Ridge" silicon," reads the controversial post.
Intel has also confirmed that it will adhere to Microsoft's decree and has no plans to update Windows 7/8 drivers to support Kaby Lake:
"We are committed to working with Microsoft and our ecosystem partners to help ensure a smooth transition given these changes to Microsoft's Windows support policy," an Intel rep told PC World. "No, Intel will not be updating Win 7/8 drivers for 7th Gen Intel Core per Microsoft's support policy change."
But what happens if you ignored the warnings and tried to boot up Windows 7 or 8.1 with Kaby Lake or Zen?
No one knows for sure, but some guess that the experience would be decidedly unreliable and buggy. Others say that it might boot up, but a portion of apps would be unusable and the OS would crash.
But we know one thing for sure: Microsoft wants everyone using Windows 10, and they're willing to do anything to make that happen.